In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German School Massacre

March 12, 2009 -

Following the shooting rampage carried out yesterday by 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer in Southern Germany, calls have been renewed for government restrictions on violent video games.

GamePolitics is thankful to longtime European GP reader Soldat Louis for steering us to German language sources, including this Google-translated segment from Heise:

The President of the German Foundation for Crime, Hans-Dieter Schwind, calls... for a total ban on violent computer games, and a further tightening of the arms law. The criminologist said that the 17-year-old on the run even further to have done is a behavior the young people in games like Counter-Strike or Crysis could learn...

The Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has... expressed demand for a ban on so-called killer games renewed... he said, it generally must be clearly said that the games were available, the obvious just in young people cutting inhibitions...

Soldat Louis also reports:

"I've just learnt that in Strasbourg, European representatives voted a resolution in order to prevent retailers to sell adult-rated games to minors."

Romandie News has the story in French. GP's Google translation follows:

In a report prepared for a long time and voted Thursday by an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament calls for common strategy is developed at EU level providing for "severe sanctions" for retailers who sell adult games to minors, or owners of Internet cafes that allow children to play games unsuitable for their age group...
 

"Of course there are also many games of great pedagogical value. The important thing is to avoid the frigid bad games in the hands of children", commented at the end of voting the Social German Democrat Evelyne Gebhardt.


Comments

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Again, another politic who doesn't get his facts right.

Dammit I'm so tired of this. I WANT MY VOICE TO BE HEARD! We never get a chance to defend ourselves, because no one will listen to any of us gamers.

Who eles agrees with me? IF people would listen to us, mayby we could make a difference in how we gamers and the gaming industry are treated by the media and politics.

Dennis, Zach, do you know what I'm saying?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

"The President of the German Foundation for Crime, Hans-Dieter Schwind, calls... for a total ban on violent computer games, and a further tightening of the arms law."

Go ahead, watch what happens. Ask Jack Thompson if you will, Mr.Schwind.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

I'm disgusted but not surprised. Glad I live in the USA and not that dictatorship that masquerades as a democracy. Funny how Germany has the worst censorship laws for this stuff yet shit like this still happens. And has this dumbass even explained how a total ban on violent games would stop incidents like this when the people in this case are cleary deranged?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

And I thought Australia was bad...

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Near as I can tell, Australia has never had a school shooting. Maybe some stabbings but nothing like this.


IMA FIRIN MAH LASER!!!

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

There are now reports of mental issues and a history of psychotherapy.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5898272.ece

In a German article about the shooter's mental health, a police spokesman is quoted, claiming that the motive may be revenge for harassment in school, and that it "has something to do with the internet". I find that last claim somewhat disturbing at this point of the investigation.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

To Germany: halt den Mund about the videogame issue

halt den Mund= Shut up in german

 

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

 

You have to say more then that.  This is how I say it (using Google translate)

Hey Deutschland,

Im Spiel Counterstrike, gibt es keine weiblichen Töten im Spiel. In der Tat gibt es noch keine Computer Frauen im Spiel überhaupt. So erhalten Sie Ihre Tatsache, gerade, Sie auf OK. Sie müssen das Spiel um zu sehen, ob das Spiel verbunden ist oder nicht. Ist dies nicht der Fall, dann keine Verbindung. Schadensursache nicht zu Korrelation. Sie Guy töten vielleicht, weil er gedumpten von seiner Freundin, oder er hat etwas gegen Mädchen.
 
 
Hey Germany,
 
In the game Counterstrike, there is no female killing in the game. As a matter of fact there hasn't been any computer female in the game ever. So get your fact straight, OK.  You need to play the game to see if the game is connected or not. If it doesn't, then no link.  Causation does not cause correlation.  They guy kill maybe because he got dumped by his girlfriend, or he has something against girls.
 
 
 

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

With all due respect, you Europeans need to pull the reins on the European Union. They have too much latitude with regard to the kinds of laws they're allowed to make, and too little power with regard to prohibiting censorship by member states. This sort of moral engineering should not be tolerated.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

While there's not a heck of a lot they can do about this particular subject, I wholeheartedly agree.

However, the EU is far from being democratic. When the Constitution was shot down in the first 2 democratic votes, the nation states reworded it as a treaty to avoid having to hold referendums and then simply passed it through the houses of parliament. The only reason the Lisbon trety (constitution mk2) hasnt been ratified and imnplemented is thanks to the Irish, whose constitution FORCED the government to put it to the people, who then displayed a large middle finger to the fatcats in Brussels.

The EU is corrupt of democracy, and the people have no say.

 

Check out my blog - http://serveratcapacity.blogspot.com

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

As the EC cannot make laws in this area and these matters are within the sole competence of the Member States I fail to see what the efforts of the EU can be reined in?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

So the European Parliament's call for a "common strategy ... at the EU level" providing for "severe sanctions for retailers who sell adult games to minors, or owners of Internet cafes that allow children to play games unsuitable for their age group" is just wishful thinking, and there's really no chance that such legislation would ever be implemented "at the EU level"?

If there's any chance of it at all, then they have too much power. Censorship at the state level is bad enough, but to allow it at the federal level suggests to me that European states are losing something valuable in their "bargain" with the EU.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

As much as I agree with you there's limits to what the EU should be able to do, I get an impression that you might be one of the guys who declare the south will rise again.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

The European Parliament can "call" for the Moon to be made of blue cheese, it doesn't give them the power to make it happen.

There is no competence in the EC Treaty for the EC to legislate in this field, not to mention the fact that the EP cannot legislate alone.

Apart from that there is nothing to stop them!

 

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Not to come off as Rude or crass, but, Where the hell is the UK game industry? Huh? Why the fuck aren't they defending themselves against this crap.

This is the kinda stuff I keep harping on OVER and OVER, both in the us and Uk and especially NOW in Austrailia with That dirt bag akitinson, we have all these people assulting the industry, and the industry just sits back and does nothing.

In the us at least I know who to blame, Mr Mike Gallahger. Im not so sure about the UK, EU, germany or AUS, but shouldnt somone in these countries start playing a bit of hardball.

I've said it for years. The industry should be levaling slander suits on people who attempt to blame random acts of violence on games for little or no reason, esepcially when other, more prominant factors, such as mental instabliity are clearly present.

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I the only one who'd like to see the industry grow a pair.

 

Yukimura is still here "Honor, that is what matters, isn't it? " Yukimura Sanada, from Samurai warriors 2

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Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Exactly how do you think a UK developer can defend gainst a German politician passing comment on a situation in Germany? Or an Australian Politician in Australia? Nowhere does it say these guys are tying to get violent games banned anywhere outside of their own country, why would they have any need to protect themselves against someone who isn't going after them?

The only widely reported act of violence that was directly linked to games in the UK was a boy who was stabbed to death and his mother blamed Manhunt, which ended up going nowhere as the Police pointed out it was her son that owned Manhunt and there was no evidence his killer had ever played it.

The only person we've got in the UK who goes after games with any notice is Keith Vaz, so far he's gone after Manhunt when the boy was stabbed which ended as described above, Bully which got released with a 15 rating and no one paid any notice to him, and after that the likes of Rapelay and that suicide bomber game which havn't got anything to with the UK games industry, which I would remind you are the ones making the likes of GTA and Manhunt.

It's a little hard for the UK developers to defend themselves when there's barely anyone going after them in their own country, in the US GTA is handled by Rockstar Norths Parent company Take-Two Interactivce who settled a suit with Jack Thompson in 2007 on the agreement that he wouldn't accuse Take-Two of any wrongdoing on selling their games, yet when he did that in 2008 they did nothing, so why doesn't the US industry stand up more to protect games then?

Additionally it was the BBFC who were the first people with any official role in games outside of Capcom to stand up and publicly state it wasn't racist.

A European resolution to prevent the sale of adult-rated games to minors has no affect at all on UK devs because the BBFC ratings are already legal classifications, not reccomendations, so it's already illegal to sell a 17 year old an 18 rated game.

Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

You don't stand alone. I agree the libel suits against assholes like Thompson and the like are long overdue. You can blame both Mike Gallagher and Doug Lowenstein for these piles of Grade-A monkey shit screaming the loudest.

Vince McMahon took it to those idiots years ago. In fact, I dare say if Vince wouldn't have settled for $3.5 million and a public apology in 2002 and let his defamation lawsuit against the Parent Trash Cult go to trial, the PTC would no longer exist as they would have been bankrupted by WWE.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Here's a complete translation of the Heise.de article, courtesy of me:

 

**************************************************************************

After yesterday's rampage commited by the 17-year-old Tim K. in the Baden-Würtemberg city of Winnenden, it has become known that the culprit had spent a lot of time playing violent computergames in the past months. This was, according to dpa, confirmed today by Klaus Hinderer, spokesman of the Waiblingen police. The data on the computer of the culprit would currently be evaluated, the game Counter-Strike was already found on it. Over the course of yesterday, as after the rampage of a 19-year-old in Erfurt almost 7 years ago, discussions on violent computergames flamed up again.

 

The president of the German foundation for crime prevention, Hans-Dieter Schwind, demands a complete ban on violent computergames and a further tightening of gun laws, according to a report of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. The criminologist thinks the further shooting arround of the culprit while on the run was a behavior that young people could learn in games Counter-Strike or Crysis. Though media influences would not be the primary factors, they would promote such violence.

 

The Bavarian' interior minister Joachim Herrmann renewed his demand of last year for a ban of so-called Killergames. To the radiostation Bayern 2 he said it had to be made clear that games were available which would apparently lower the inhibition threshold, especially for younger people. The CDU interior expert Woldgang Bosbach cautions against a onesided debate on gun laws. The issues of psychological work in schools as well as violence-prevention would be at least as important as the question of gun laws, he told the Hamburger Abendblatt. The CDU politician wants to avoid a political discuse on gun laws like after the Erfurt rampage. Compared internationally Germany would already have severe regulations.

 

K. had entered the Albertville-school in Winnenden yesterday arround 9:30 and shot nine pupils and three (female) teachers. According to Ralf Michelfelder, chief of police in Waiblingen, K had fired at least 60 bullets within the school, before running from the police. On the run he killed three more people and, according to new findings, ultimately himself. By now the police investigates the father of the culprit, who has allegedly not locked one of his weapons as well as ammunition according to regulations.

 

**************************************************************************

 

Sorry for stylisticly bad use of the subjunctive and indirect speech, I always have my problems with those in English. 

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Ten bucks say he got dumped or denied a few months ago and found refugee in games, yet eventually got fed up with things.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Nice work. So is this Schwind guy actually calling for a total ban on violent games that would prevent their sale to adults? That's what it sounds like, but it's difficult to imagine that it is actually the case.

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

I HATE STUPIDITY, AND THE "MORAL CRUSADERS" ARE THE MODERN NEXUS OF IT.


Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but we're already naked."

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

You know, I think this is the straw that broke the camel's back.  They may actually ban games in Germany because of the actions of this one lone idiot.  I don't know where these people get off thinking that everyone that plays games are going to go out on some sort of killing spree.  Someone explain it to me.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

"Logic will always prevail. Execpt in politics of course, thats fucked." Darkrider/Rocka

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Wolfenstein 3D.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Have a cookie.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Om Nom Nom.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

I remember playing Wolfenstein 3D when I was around 5 or 6, but I know for a fact I played Doom when I was about 6, since IIRC something happened to Wolfenstein 3D and I couldn't play it anymore.

They were both some of the best games I ever played, right up there with the Metroid Prime trilogy, Super SMASH Bros., and Castlevania.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Hey at least they waited for the bodies to get cold before exploiting the tradgedy for their agenda.

But hey let's not let the fact that violent games haven''t been proven to be the cause of this murder get in the way of getting a scapegoat.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

Can somebody explain to me what this sentence means:

"The criminologist said that the 17-year-old on the run even further to have done is a behavior the young people in games like Counter-Strike or Crysis could learn..."

Edit: Ok, I think I get what it means. Man, there needs to be a translator that translates google translations into English.

And are they going after the games more than the guns? That would be rediculous. I don't think that tighter game/gun regulations would have done anything in this situation. I mean, I enthusiastically support tighter gun control (at least in the US), but it just doesn't seem like it would help in this situation. They just have to realize that sometimes somebody is going to snap and start killing people, and there's nothing you can do about it.

---------------------------------

Internet troll > internet paladin

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

So wait... this seems to once more be a case of the actual violent youth not even mentioning video games and the police jumping to a video game conclusion because they've heard it so often, thus perpetuating it further.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Where does it say the police is jumping to a video game conclusion?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

"calls... for a total ban on violent computer games, and a further tightening of the arms law."

You're kidding me, he's putting banning computer games ahead of tightening the arms law?  What the hell kind of logic is that?

 

I should also state the obvious: There are no female characters in CounterStrike, and he killed primarily women.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

So...was it ever explained why he targeted the girls? Or are they just gonna say games did it and not even explore what happened?

'We can't think of anything better, so that must be what caused it!'

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

The police are probably going to dig further. Whether the media are willing to inform us of police conclusions rather than just jumping to their own, eh...

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

HEY WORLD! We're overcompensating for our violent Nazi past! Watch us ban ALL violent things, and our nation would be peaceful and perfect again!

GameSnooper

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

They are barking up the wrong tree. This kid, he ate meat, he ate it every day. It has been proven that consuming the dead flesh of God's own little creatures increases violent tedancies. It's only the big business slaughterhouses bribing the fat cat politicians that keeps it covered up! Let our voices be heard! Ban meat! Vegan for life!!!!

OK, not really... but I heard that he also brushed his teeth with toothpaste that has flourine in it, and that the complete effects of flourine have been covered up by the government, because they use it to track people from secret sattelites hidden in debrie clouds. It's a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top.

You know, the majority young males in this world have played video games. The odds that a school shooter played videogames are quite high (and yet, in some cases they didn't, go figure). You have a kid that likes guns, airsoft guns, and video games, whodathunkit that he would have played a videogame that had guns in it?

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

It's sad what happened in Germany and Alabama recently.  I hope that people might in the future be able to see the warning signs, or be able to stop a gunman before he kills a bunch of people.  However, I'd like to point out that anyone who played CS would know that anyone who uses that to train to shoot in real life wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn. It's one thing to sit in your room and use your keyboard and mouse to shoot targets and it's a totally different thing to pick up a real gun and shoot targets in real life. 

PSN: bracomadar

PSN: bracomadar

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Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

It's really disheartening, all we can do is shake our fists and be ignored.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Where are the book banners when we need them to show how absurd it is to blame a media when it is clear this man was a sckitzophrenic clearly in need of psychiatric aid? Honestly, medias aren't to blame until there is a clear connection that it would drive said person off the edge. Similar to psychopath Jim Adkisson who was driven off the edge by conservative books that told him "Liberals are sub-human".

If there is a clear indication that video games drove him off the edge, which is highly unlikely, then perhaps you could make a case.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Well one could say using the "Liberals are sub-human" argument one could say that games portray a large proration of "people" as the enemy, and if one is sufficiently removed from reality their paranoia would spiral out of control that when fueled by a mix of rage and desperation the end result is media assisted life breaking a already crazy person.

And that thierin lies the trouble life alone can break you so what if how people act or how they consume media you can not enforce strict rules(banning of fiction, enforce vague PC alws to force people to be nice to one another,ect) on humans without cussing more damage. All you can do is ensure weapon licenses are well vetted and that after math clean up is dealt with properly.

If you try and preempt everything you fail because humans are human.

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


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Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Not surprising, considering the number of retarded neo-Nazi assholes in power in Germany. And as far as they're concerned, well, they're nothing but vultures who prey on both the living and the dead.

Yeah, this thread got Godwinned, but when the news and the whining comes from Germany, it automatically Godwinns the thread.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

I actually always figured it was the opposite that Germany is full of a bunch of politically afraid children who fear if they don't make insane laws to make their people look like they are playing nice with everyone then they will be called Nazis and ostercized(sp) for it .

Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

It's really more a 50/50 situation. Germany are both terrified of violent games and also obsessed with trying to dominate the lives of other nations through the EU.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

How exactly is Germany trying to dominate the "lives" of other nations?

Re: In Europe, "Violent" Games Under Fire in Wake of German

He already said it, through the EU. Watch us achieve world domination by accepting the lowest number of votes per citizen in the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Minsters, giving foreign nations a say in our politics and paying them loads of money. The world won't realize until it's too late!

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Its not media that drives people insane its insanity IE human nature.

Scapegoating (blaming tools or media) only ignores the real problem to show you are doing something by lower the rights of the populace creating worsening situations.


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Crap posted on old article short simple post ...

 

He was 17 ... game rating 16 ... stupid ass law to push through based on this since frankly the retailers did not sale to a kid they sold to someone who was old enough to buy it ...

Blah Blah Idiocy etc.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German ...

The President of the German Foundation for Crime, Hans-Dieter Schwind, calls... for a total ban on violent computer games, and a further tightening of the arms law. The criminologist said that the 17-year-old on the run even further to have done is a behavior the young people in games like Counter-Strike or Crysis could learn...

doubt that would happen, given that germany is the only EU member known for procrastination

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

I knew this was going to happen blame the games and not gun control.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Are you trying to imply that gun control caused this, or a lack of gun control caused this.

Cause you are wrong on both counts.

Re: In Europe, Violent Games Under Fire in Wake of German

Technically gun control should probably not be blamed either. His dad had a license and didn't go out on a rampage himself, he just didn't lock down one of his guns as good as he should have. Counts as negligence, but doesn't necessarily mean gun control is to blame.

I mean, I'm all for not being able to walk into a shop, buy a gun with a fake ID and walking out five minutes later with a gun and enough ammo to shoot up a school. Cooldown periods sound nice. Some weapons might not be the wisest idea either. But I don't think this is a gun control issue.

 
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